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New Zealand Plant Protection 68 (2015): 367-372

The influence of shelterbelts in arable farmland on beneficial and pest invertebrates

M.M. Davidson, B.G. Howlett, R.C. Butler, N.M. Taylor and M.K. Walker


Shelterbelts of Pinus radiata and Cupressus macrocarpa are common landscape features on arable farmland in New Zealand. This study aimed to determine whether such shelterbelts could influence the relative abundance and diversity of beneficial and pest invertebrates commonly found in arable crops. Window intercept, yellow sticky and pitfall traps were placed next to shelterbelts or post and wire fences and also 50 m from these borders into adjacent crops on two arable farms in Canterbury and one in Wairarapa over 1-2 weeks in summer 2012 and autumn 2013. The abundance of given species/taxa varied considerably depending on farm location, season and field border type. However, the mean number of beneficial insect species/taxa per trap did not vary markedly between field border types or adjacent crops, while traps at shelterbelts or their adjacent crops caught more of some pest species/taxa than traps beside fences. The pine/macrocarpa shelterbelts did not markedly increase relative abundance or diversity of beneficial insects.

Keywords: arable, cropping, insect pollinators, predators, parasitoids, pests, diversity, abundance, trapping.

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